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Old 09-13-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
ariel1025
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It's our Date-A-Versary with Deluxe Dining, DVC and MNSSHP!! 11/13 UPDATE!

Sadly, we are home from another fun-filled, gut-bustin’ laughing, amazing trip from Walt Disney World. This was our second trip together, the first being our Honeymoon. It was as magical and amazing as we had remembered it and we created even more memories that remind us constantly of why we will always return. For those of you who did not follow along with the Pre-trip report here is a quick background and introduction so you can feel like you “know” us

My name is Shannon and I am a 27-year old Accounting student who works full-time at a privatized Motor Vehicle Department in my wonderful hometown of Albuquerque, NM.



Although, I am currently a student and a full-time worker, it is my dream to be a stay at home Mom (we don’t have kids yet, but hopefully someday soon). If there are any of you out there reading, I would love to hear your idea of the pros and cons to this . Anyway, back on track, I have loved Disney for as long as I can remember and always choose a Disney movie when it is my turn to choose for movie night. I grew up watching Disney movies and am thankful that my Mom showed me all of the old movies along with the new. There is something that is so magical to me about the “old” animation style and, sometimes, I miss it! My favorite movies include “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.” I also enjoy the non-animated movies with my favorite being “Angels in the Outfield.” Besides planning for, dreaming about and visiting Disney I also love to listen to music (I am definitely a Country girl), taking pictures, swing dancing and having “Lazy Sundays” with my Husband.

Speaking of my Husband, he was my partner in crime on this trip. His name is Candido, but we call him Candi for short and he is also 27 years old.



He is currently taking a break from school and works at the same company I work for – only he is about 15 steps higher up in the company. He, like myself, loves Disney but won’t always admit it. Sometimes, he can get frustrated with my over-planning but knows that I won’t usually hold him to any type of schedule when we actually get there . His major loves in life, well besides me of course LOL, are the Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chicago Bulls and the New Mexico Lobos. In case you can’t tell, he is a MAJOR sports fanatic. He also enjoys music, video games and swing dancing.

Background – How this all came about – the shortened edition ;-)

We have been married for just over a year, we celebrated our one-year Anniversary in Disneyland over Memorial weekend. However, we have been together for 8 years so we decided it was necessary to do something to celebrate that too. Well, what better way than to spend it in Disney World for the “What Will You Celebrate?” campaign. While on the trip we nicknamed this our “Date-a-versary” and I have made it my goal to consider this a yearly thing … the “Dateaversary” not the Disney trip … really that’s what I meant ;-)

Just to fill you in – The Where & The When

We were in Disney World from September 4 – September 12. Our trip was broken into two “trips” because we were too indecisive to decide where to stay. Oh, and just so that it makes more sense, we became Disney Vacation Club (DVC) owners shortly after our honeymoon.

We stayed at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge from September 4 – September 8. We really wanted to stay at this resort because we spent our Honeymoon in the main lodge and thought it would be special and sentimental to start our vacation here. The second portion of our trip was spent at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village. We also really wanted to stay here because it is our “home resort” through DVC and had just opened back in May.

We were on the Deluxe dining plan and had reservations planned for breakfast most days, lunch some days and dinner every night. I will include small recaps and pictures on the dining, but will not go into major detail here as I am doing a dining report on the dining board. I am also going to be completely and totally honest with all aspects of the trip – the experience, the food, the customer service, the rides and a break-down of the costs. I don’t do this to brag (we do not have tons of money – we saved our booties off to afford this trip ), but I think it is helpful for those who are planning their own trips to get a “real” feel for what things cost.

Alrighty, there you have it with the background information. I hope you all stick around, I promise there will be lots of laughs, maybe a few tears, tons of pictures, several repeated outfits - don’t worry we had a washer in our Villa LOL and an overall amazing time that I can’t wait to share with you.



So, buckle up your seatbelt folks, this trip report is fueling up (aka loading pictures into photobucket) and preparing for take-off …..

Last edited by ariel1025; 11-13-2010 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
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Great start! Looking forward to reading more.

I am a stay at home Mom and it is great! Though sometimes I wish I had a nice part time job to go to just to change things up a bit. My DH loves me to be at his beck and call so to speak. He works shifts and it makes things easier to only have to plan around one schedule. However, my kids are now in JK and grade 1 so that part time job is probably looming on the horizon some where soon. That's ok ...more $$ for disney trips!!
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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Looking forward to your report! We were at the world the same time- Sept 5th-12th and also did a split stay, 3 nights at POR, 4 nights at Poly..... it was magical and i miss it already!!
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:35 PM   #5
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Arrrgghhh ... slow internet = BIG problems!!

First, I just want to say "WELCOME" to everyone that has responded. I promise I normally reply to everyone individually, as I love to get comments and feedback. However, I am currently stuck with the slowest internet known to man ... think dial up and then slow it times 10 HA HA! This seems to be causing me all sorts of problems ... other than the obvious. For some reason, it is not letting me click on several parts of the internet including the quote button and the super fun "smilies."

I am super excited to have you all join along and I look forward to speaking to you when our fast cable internet is installed next week.

Hoping to start this thing soon ... hopefully tonight!!
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
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"We're finally home"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The day before leaving was the longest and most hectic day I think I have encountered since the night before our wedding. It started, as usual, with us waking up at 6:30 am to get ready for work. You see, the only downfall to our new house is that it is 45 minutes away from where we work. That’s a lot of gas money and a whole lot of lost minutes of sleep .

Work actually went by relatively fast. Since it was Thursday, it was our “short shift.” All this really means is that we were at work until 2:00 pm but then we had to go directly to our Supervisor Academy class and this lasted until 6:00 pm. Now, I normally enjoy this class – it is a requirement for our business to be in Management and it is usually very interesting and very informative. However, all I could think about during this class was how hungry I was and how much I had left to do before our flight in the morning. You see, I tend to be a procrastinator and I had not packed – it gets worse – I also hadn’t done ANY of our laundry and I still needed to go buy a couple of shirts for the trip. But, there are more important things to do – like get a manicure and pedicure so that I can feel all pretty for the trip . So, that is exactly where I headed after work with my best friend, Erin.

After our spa time we went to Target so I could get the last minute essentials and then attempted to go to Kohls, but sadly, they had already closed. This is why you will see so many repeated outfits on this trip!!
Erin brought me home at around 10:00 and, needless to say, I was slightly stressing. We had 8 hours until we needed to be at the airport, which meant we needed to leave the house in 7. I still needed to do at least 3 loads of laundry and pack EVERYTHING!! Imagine my relief (and surprise) when I walked in the house to see my AWESOME Hubby folding clothes and placing them in piles on our bed. He had already washed all the whites (only 2 loads to go) and was laying everything out so I could go through and decide what needed to be packed. Do I really need to point out why I married this man???

This is where the real chaos began ….

Since we have just recently moved, several things are still packed in boxes and sitting in our garage. This includes things like – ponchos, suitcases, lanyards, pins, travel items etc. I had my trusty packing list ready as we attempted to conquer the “black hole” which is really meant to house our cars LOL. In the midst of trying to find everything, Candi accidentally knocked over a model car my Dad bought me for Christmas. Now, I know I sound like a little kid but this car means A LOT to me and I freaked out a little bit. I didn’t want to yell at him because I knew it was an accident so I just sat on the garage floor and started crying. This is not the way our trip was supposed to be starting out and I felt awful – both now and in the moment. Candi felt horrible and kept apologizing and I kept telling him it was ok, but he knew it wasn’t. Eventually, I made a joke over the whole thing telling him he now had to by me the real deal – a 1957 Corvette – and we continued with the travel item search. By the time we got everything from the garage, finished laundry and finished packing it was 3:30 AM!! Or at least that’s what Candi tells me. I must admit, I was somewhat of an awful wife and crashed out somewhere around 1:15. Apparently, I was lying in the middle of all the piles of clothes on the floor, with a pair of socks in my hand and just fell asleep – yes, I was THAT tired!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The alarm clock went off at 5:00 am and Erin was ringing our doorbell about 15 minutes later. IT WAS TIME TO GO TO THE AIRPORT!!!!!!!!

We packed up Erin’s car with all our luggage and started to pull away when Candi realized his second pair of shoes were in the car. One quick detour and we were ready to go.

Of course, we were at the airport, checked in and through security with more than enough time remaining – better early than late right? So, we grabbed some seats in the terminal that were somewhat secluded and started talking about how excited we were. Candi had one thing and one thing only on his mind – Fultons. Yes, it was 5:30 in the morning and this man was craving him some crab legs !!

Then it happened, you know how no matter how big a room is it always seems like you are the one who gets stuck by the “extreme” people. The ones who are super loud or who are fighting or can’t sit still or in this case don’t know how to separate their faces from each other. Yep, two people who were at least my parents’ age plop down right next to us and start making out!! Now, it bothers me when anybody does this in public – in my opinion there is a time and a place (and that place is not next to me in the airport terminal) – but these people were loud and obnoxious about it too. I hate to sound mean, but all I kept thinking was that I hope they didn’t do this the entire flight.

Soon enough our boarding number was called – we always fly Southwest so it was open seating and we were boarding group B. Luckily, we were able to sit next to each other and right over the wing of the plane. I can’t explain it, but this is where I always sit when I have the option. As we were walking back to our seats we saw the two sucky faces and they were still at it – next to this poor business man who was already asking the stewardess for a drink – and I don’t mean water folks .

Our flight was smooth with a quick layover in Houston and then the longest flight known to man as I sat looking out the window waiting to land in Orlando. The Disney tunes on the Ipod helped pass the time and then I let out a small scream as I saw WDW underneath us – sorry for any passengers I may have scared … or annoyed!!

I practically ran off the plane and kissed the ground in the Orlando airport because I was so happy. Ok, I wouldn’t really kiss the ground – I don’t want any diseases to interfere with my Disney World plans ya know! I told Candi I would follow him as he navigated the way to the Magical Express check-in – if you read my honeymoon report you know that we got a little bit lost and that made for a not so pleasant start to the trip. We boarded the little moving walkways and reminisced about how we were stuck in this airport for EIGHT HOURS last year after our cruise!! This was a very happy conversation filled with wonderful memories ….



Can’t ya tell???

We took the escalator down a floor which was baggage claim and then Candi decided that we were headed the wrong way. I kept saying that we were going the right way and that we just needed to go down one more floor. He, however, insisted that I was crazy (which very well could be true) and back up the escalator we went.



Twenty minutes later and two floors down and we saw this



yes, my navigation skills were correct this time!

I went to go sit with the luggage and sent Candi to the counter. He came back about 30 seconds later and said we both had to go up together. Woops, last year we both went up and we were told that only one of us could go through the line?!? We had to explain to them that we never received our luggage claim tag things – they said it was not a big deal – they just needed to see our baggage claim tickets from the airport and they could still retrieve and deliver our luggage to our hotel for us. That’s when I knew FOR SURE we were truly back!! Ya’all know what I mean right? Just knowing how the folks at Disney always go out of their way to lend an extra hand to make things extra magical for you. And that’s the exact conversation we had as we skipped, yes there was even a hop to Candi’s step, as we made our way to the line for the buses.



We only waited about five minutes before they lead us to our bus. I was secretly hoping to sit up front so that I could get a really good picture of the “welcome” arch, but the bus was already really full. Not to worry, this was the magical bus and nothing was going to bring me down. We had to wait another 10 minutes or so before the bus was ready to leave, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to take the first picture of us of the trip



Not the greatest of pictures, but hey, what do you expect when we’ve only slept 3 hours, been in a plane all morning and I didn’t put on any make-up LOL. Candi, made a comment about how he was glad I would find things to take pictures of other than him when we got there. “Ummm, would now be a bad time to bring up the fact that I planned on ordering the photopass CD babe?

The drive went by fairly quickly and yes, I did watch AND enjoy the video they play on board. Before long I saw the most beautiful thing of all



Hey, it might not be the whole arch, but it still meant we were really and truly here!!! I let out shrieks of excitement and Candi joined me – everyone else looked at us like we were nuts .

Not long after we passed under the “welcome” arch we reached the Magic Kingdom arch and I was seriously like a little kid that couldn’t sit still. Candi was super excited that the Halloween decorations were already out and insisted I try to get a picture of this



Now, jack o’lantern Mickey is VERY cute but I still think Candi was secretly plotting to keep the camera pointed away from him!!

Our first stop was the Polynesian



I think only two people got off here and we noticed how they were greeted with leis placed around their neck. We both thought this was a neat touch and don’t remember seeing this last year. Now, every time I think about or read about the Poly, I always think it seems so neat. But, when we actually pull up there it doesn’t “do it” for me. Please don’t hate me, it just doesn’t make me want to run out and book a reservation there. I remember, for our honeymoon this was one of our top choices and when we pulled up to drop people off we felt a sense of relief that we hadn’t chosen it. I’m not sure why this is?!?

Anyway, our next stop was the Grand Floridian



A LOT of people got off here – in fact I would say ¾ of the bus unloaded at the Grand. Including, two sets of people with bride ears on. I made sure to congratulate them both and, of course, Candi and I reminisced about our honeymoon for a minute. This was exactly why we had chosen the Wilderness Lodge as our hotel for the first half of our stay. We knew it would stir up so many memories and emotions from our honeymoon and that’s exactly what we wanted.

I love how the employees are dressed the part here



It makes the resort seem that much more magical and is the exact reason I love Disney World. Everywhere you go, it seems like you’ve walked into another place or time.

The final stop was our stop …



THE WILDERNESS LODGE!!

Candi went to go get our carry on for us



excellent tip for anyone using Magical Express – always bring a carry on with a change of clothes or whatever you think you may need - it can take up to 4 hours to receive your luggage at your hotel.

We were both overflowing with excitement and I’m sure we looked like total goofballs with our ear-to-ear grins as we made our way through the massive doors into the hotel. And then it hit us – “the smell” – I’m not sure what it is but the Lodge just has this wonderful smell that let's you know you are away from all your worries and truly on vacation. At that moment Candi turned to me and said “we’re finally home.”
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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Great updates. Love the pictures! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannago2disney View Post
Great updates. Love the pictures! Can't wait to read more!
Thank you I am such an addict when it come to taking pictures ... over 4000 this trip alone. That's part of what is taking me so long to update - I have the worst time trying to figure out what pictures to leave in and take out Thanks for reading!!!
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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Great report- We've been fallowing this and the dining thread for a while(We just joined). My family and I enjoy reading your posts and we're waiting for updates!
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeysgirl17 View Post
Still enjoying your TR, thanks for the update. By the way, I love that ball too. Actually, I love all the big icons (castle, ball and the tree) except for the hat at DHS. I just don't think it belongs.

Keep it coming!
Thank you for continuing to follow along

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Originally Posted by pinkxray View Post
Great update.
I hope Candi finds crocs soon.
Thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The 4 "Quay"balleros View Post
Great report- We've been fallowing this and the dining thread for a while(We just joined). My family and I enjoy reading your posts and we're waiting for updates!
Thanks for joining! Sorry for making you wait so long
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #11
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It's all about the new .....

When we last left off, many moons ago, Candi was in a super good mood from playing music conductor and promised me we could do anything I wanted to do!

Now, I will admit, I was slightly mischievous about it, I knew he was meaning a ride or food. But, after turning the corner in the Imagination Pavilion, he knew he was regretting his words

I had the choice to do anything I wanted and I wanted to take pictures. Remember, slightly obsessed here But, this wasn't any picture. It wasn't an icon picture or a photopass picture .... this was the most super, duper fun picture in the whole world. I'm not making this up - see for yourself ....



This picture currently sits on my desk at work and whenever I am feeling stressed or frustrated I look at it and my world feels a little bit better

After taking the picture we decided to head back to the Lodge for an afternoon nap. Candi's feet were really starting to hurt him and we still hadn't been able to find any Crocs in his size. Of course, this wasn't a mad rush off to nap and we took our time making our way out of Epcot.


Oh, look at that, you can see "the ball" from over here too


We both love all the fountains in this area ... especially how excited all the kids get with them!

While strolling around we stumbled upon Club Cool and were super excited about it. This was something else we had placed on our "must do" list but forgot about it until we accidentally found it!



My favorite was definitely the one from China, but Candi was partial to the one from Germany.



This was seriously like his fourth cup of the one from Germany. Now, I wasn't mean enough to make him try the Beverly. Ok, I'm mean enough, but I didn't know how to persuade him without laughing and letting him know something was up So, I left it alone and told him that I would check and see if they sold bottles of the different types of drinks. Sadly I did not see them .... I think this would be a great idea though!

When I came back to deliver the bad news I saw Candi filling up his little cup with the infamous Italian Soda ----- he was drinking Beverly on his own free will ....



: lmao:

When he saw me laughing he tried to get mad because he realized I knew it was a bad idea. But, all he could do was crack up laughing. After that we each took a cup of our favorite to go and continued our journey to the front gates.



Hey - haven't seen that in at least 3 pictures

After I took the picture Candi noticed a Photopass guy and offered to take some more pictures. I think he was finally getting into the spirit of "getting our money's worth"



We also had to stop and watch the dancing fountains; it still amazes us how they are able to time it all so well. We could truly sit around watching them for hours.



After the fountains we had finally made it to the entrance - only 2 hours had passed since we agreed to go take a nap However, right before we left Candi remembered that there was a camera strap I had wanted to buy last year and we forgot all about it. I was shocked he had remembered because I hadn't said anything about it in over a year. But, the next thing I knew he was leading me into the photo store by the front gates to buy my strap.



To this day, it is my favorite souvenir EVER!!!

After that we actually did leave the park and head back to Wilderness Lodge. The plan was to take a nap and then come back and work our way through World Showcase - starting in Mexico and stopping in Japan for dinner - allowing enough time for me to do the "pick a pearl" thing in the before our dinner reservation.......
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:57 PM   #12
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Glad you are back with a update. That souvenir is so cool. I love it. I was mean enough to let my DH try Beverly. It was hard to do with a straight face though.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:14 AM   #13
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I just found your TR now. I've enjoyed reading it. We fell in love with the WL on our last trip. It was sooo nice! You've made me jealous with your DVC points!

Your pictures are wonderful! Were in EPCOT did you make that hysterical flying photo! I've never seen anything like it! Cute!!
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:49 AM   #14
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Love all the pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel1025 View Post
When we last left off, many moons ago, Candi was in a super good mood from playing music conductor and promised me we could do anything I wanted to do!

Now, I will admit, I was slightly mischievous about it, I knew he was meaning a ride or food. But, after turning the corner in the Imagination Pavilion, he knew he was regretting his words

I had the choice to do anything I wanted and I wanted to take pictures. Remember, slightly obsessed here But, this wasn't any picture. It wasn't an icon picture or a photopass picture .... this was the most super, duper fun picture in the whole world. I'm not making this up - see for yourself ....



This picture currently sits on my desk at work and whenever I am feeling stressed or frustrated I look at it and my world feels a little bit better

After taking the picture we decided to head back to the Lodge for an afternoon nap. Candi's feet were really starting to hurt him and we still hadn't been able to find any Crocs in his size. Of course, this wasn't a mad rush off to nap and we took our time making our way out of Epcot.


Oh, look at that, you can see "the ball" from over here too


We both love all the fountains in this area ... especially how excited all the kids get with them!

While strolling around we stumbled upon Club Cool and were super excited about it. This was something else we had placed on our "must do" list but forgot about it until we accidentally found it!



My favorite was definitely the one from China, but Candi was partial to the one from Germany.



This was seriously like his fourth cup of the one from Germany. Now, I wasn't mean enough to make him try the Beverly. Ok, I'm mean enough, but I didn't know how to persuade him without laughing and letting him know something was up So, I left it alone and told him that I would check and see if they sold bottles of the different types of drinks. Sadly I did not see them .... I think this would be a great idea though!

When I came back to deliver the bad news I saw Candi filling up his little cup with the infamous Italian Soda ----- he was drinking Beverly on his own free will ....



: lmao:

When he saw me laughing he tried to get mad because he realized I knew it was a bad idea. But, all he could do was crack up laughing. After that we each took a cup of our favorite to go and continued our journey to the front gates.



Hey - haven't seen that in at least 3 pictures

After I took the picture Candi noticed a Photopass guy and offered to take some more pictures. I think he was finally getting into the spirit of "getting our money's worth"



We also had to stop and watch the dancing fountains; it still amazes us how they are able to time it all so well. We could truly sit around watching them for hours.



After the fountains we had finally made it to the entrance - only 2 hours had passed since we agreed to go take a nap However, right before we left Candi remembered that there was a camera strap I had wanted to buy last year and we forgot all about it. I was shocked he had remembered because I hadn't said anything about it in over a year. But, the next thing I knew he was leading me into the photo store by the front gates to buy my strap.



To this day, it is my favorite souvenir EVER!!!

After that we actually did leave the park and head back to Wilderness Lodge. The plan was to take a nap and then come back and work our way through World Showcase - starting in Mexico and stopping in Japan for dinner - allowing enough time for me to do the "pick a pearl" thing in the before our dinner reservation.......


I love your pics & updates.........My wife & I had our 35th last Sept & had a BLAST!!!!! and yes we both are Disney Freaks....
I have 2 questions.........What kind of camera do you have?You sem to have some nice clear shots!!
Also The Pic of you 2 flying where was that taken??
Thanks & looking FWD to more
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RachelNinja View Post
I love that you captured the series of that bird that refused to fly! It may seem silly to post, but those are the things that make reading TRs really fun. You share more about who you are through those stories as opposed to just the "we-rode-this-then-ate-that" kind of recaps. You two are so cute together!

I think your artistic shot of the ball is a really good one! Love how you used whatever it was to frame the ball. So different than the typical shots, haha, as in the ones I will probably be taking!

Ooo, thanks for posting those prices! The flying castle photo is definitely a doable price, and the camera strap is not expensive like I thought it would be!
Thank you so much! I was pretty surprised at how inexpensive the castle photo was. When I saw it posted I was a little nervous when asking the cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disney25th View Post
I love your pics & updates.........My wife & I had our 35th last Sept & had a BLAST!!!!! and yes we both are Disney Freaks....
I have 2 questions.........What kind of camera do you have?You sem to have some nice clear shots!!
Also The Pic of you 2 flying where was that taken??
Thanks & looking FWD to more
Thank you The camera I have is a Nikon D5000 and I absolutely love it!!!! Even my Husband, who normally has problems getting a clear shot (he shakes a lot when taking pictures) can get some really good pictures when using it The castle picture was taken in the Imagination pavilion gift shop. We just happened to stumble upon it after exiting the Figment ride. Thanks for reading!
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